Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Merry Dutch Life: Chapter One

Badhuis & Privaat
Bathroom & Toilet

You're just arrived in the Lowlands. You've sweat liters of water and deodorant carrying your luggages across the streets of your brand new town. Three Dutch bicycles were going to hit you, giving you an early occasion to try your International Medical Insurance efficiency. And yet now you're safe and sound. At home. A place which coincides accidentally with a Dutch house. You need a shower. You need to look your exhausted face in a mirror. You need to...ehm, you know what you need after a long travel. You look for a bathroom. And the adventure begins.

My first meeting with a Dutch bathroom has been a blind date. We didn’t know anything about each other and it took five minutes to find the switch. Then with the lights on I’ve noticed something wrong.
“Merel! – I cried to my host – where is the water closet?”
“In the toilet, downstairs.” she shouted back.
That’s the point. Where an Italian house has one or two bathrooms, a Dutch one has a bathroom and a toilet at two different floors. While an Italian bathroom is a shiny cathedral of marbles and crystals, a Dutch one is basically a room with a shower and a water basin. Let’s take WCs. According to recent studies, Dutch people are supposed to be the tallest in the world. And yet Dutch toilets could win an award as the smallest in the whole Milky Way. I could hardly sit down on Merel’s toilet and the situation is even worse in the place where I live. My landlord is so proud of this toilet that he hasn’t told me where it is. I’ve found it while looking for a wardrobe. Serendipity at home. I wonder how a two meters high Dutch could use a water closet like this if even my knees flap the door every now and then. There should be a local technique, but it looks like a well kept secret. I'm going to learn.

1 comment:

Wandering Piccola said...

Isn't that the coolest irony ever?2 m tall Dutch, squeezed in a shoebox toilet cubicle! My friend spends an awful lot of time in there though...:)